Last May 8, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) organized a birthday celebration for NCRPO Chief Major General Debold Sinas in Camp Bagong Diwa. The NCRPO PIO shared photos of the celebration on their Facebook page but later on took down the post.
Atty. Chel Dionko, National Chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group (Flag), spoke up on the matter during a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap).
“This incident, I think, is also a reflection of the kind of uneven implementation of the law that we have been seeing during this time of public health emergency,” Diokno began.
“When you have officials allied or identified with the administration who are ‘exposed to have been violating quarantine rules,’ and I’m not just speaking of the general, but of other higher officials, it would seem that the government is dragging its feet as far as going after them.”
“Compared to those who are perceived to be against the government where you have law enforcement immediately going out, visiting their homes not just issuing subpoenas but actually arresting them without warrants,” he continued.
Maj. Gen. Sinas previously apologized for the incident, maintaining that some of the images were falsified.
“Some of the pictures circulating in the [sic] social media were edited and grabbed from old posts. The pictures may depict itself however it does not define the totality of what really had [sic] happened,” Sinas explained.
Diokno responded to that particular aspect of Sinas’ defense, saying that the ‘factual assertion’ could be verified.
“So in that sense, since he has already pinned himself to that statement, then now we can establish technologically whether that is true or not,” Diokno stated.
“And if it is shown that these are not edited, [that] these were actually taken during the time of the public health emergency while he was celebrating his birthday, then he should be held [accountable] for that,” he concluded.
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